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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Natural Cold Remedies for Toddlers

Natural Cold Remedies for Toddlers
Treating Your Toddler’s Cold Symptoms Without Medicine

© Rachel Lister

Jan 7, 2008

There are many natural ways to treat your toddler's common cold. New studies say that cold medicine may be harmful to children under 6.

With all of the latest warnings against giving toddlers cold medicine many parents are looking for alternatives to treat their child’s common cold symptom, especially since current studies show that cold medicine may or may not even be effective for toddlers. It can be heartbreaking to know that your toddler does not feel well but there are many natural alternatives to potentially dangerous cold medicine.
Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can be a wonderful tool to help clear your toddler’s stuffy nose. Turn a humidifier on while your toddler sleeps to decrease his congestion and help him sleep better. If you do not own a humidifier, turn the shower on and run the hot water for a few minutes with the bathroom door closed. Leave the bathroom fan off and let the room steam up. The steam will help relieve your toddler’s congestion without using cold medicine and can be repeated as often as needed.
A Spoonful of Honey

Not everything that your grandmother tells you is outdated. Honey used to be given to toddlers to sooth their cold symptoms and this is one bit of advice that is still useful. It is important that you never give infants younger than one year-old honey because of the risk of botulism, but toddlers can benefit from a spoonful of honey when they are sick. Give your toddler a tablespoon of plain honey if her cold symptoms are preventing her from sleeping or enjoying her day. Honey can sooth a scratchy throat and calm a cough as well as most over the counter medication. Toddlers will much prefer the sweet taste of honey over hard to swallow cough medicine.
Increase Fluids

Fluids can help a toddler to fight the common cold and heal more quickly. Water and juices, especially those high in vitamin C will help thin excessive mucous and sooth a sore throat. Try homemade popsicles for toddlers who are reluctant to drink fluids on their own. Freeze 100% orange juice in small paper cups and add a popsicle stick to the center before the juice has completely frozen for a healthy snack and a fun way for your toddler to enjoy important fluids.
Get Lots of Sleep

Sleep can help improve your ability to fight off illness. When your toddler has a cold he will need lots of extra sleep. Chances are he will be a bit cranky anyway and will be more than willing to take a bit longer nap and go to bed a few minutes early. Mom and Dad could probably use some extra sleep if they can get it to be sure they have the ability to fight off the cold germs so they don’t end up sick as well.
Prevention is the Best Medicine

The best way to treat a cold is not to get one in the first place. While that is next to impossible, you can practice a little preventative medicine to hopefully decrease the number of colds you do get throughout the year. Teach your toddler to practice good hand washing habits. Wash your toddler’s hands every time he enters your home or plays with other children. This will limit the number of outside germs that you bring into your home and result in few colds for your family.

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